Three days after ICC halted the bloody drug-war probe, President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to speak rejoice about the decision; more so, even defending it. Not until one of his cronies did the first move.

Senatorial aspirant and retired Duterte-appointed chief cop Guillermo Eleazar on Tuesday defended the bloody war on drugs citing as though it has not been a “perfect campaign”.

Meanwhile, he then claimed the need to strengthen the Philippine justice system rather than pushing for the death penalty revival.

“I’m after improving our criminal justice system, because for me, if we ensure that the criminals get punished, in essence, that’s the best crime prevention,” Eleazar noted.

The senatorial candidate even hoped to focus on “preventive and rehabilitation and reintegration back into the community”.

“It is better that the guilty be imprisoned for life than to have innocents executed because of a wrong judgment,” Eleazar added.

Who is Eleazar?

Eleazar was the 6th PNP chief since Duterte sat in power, replacing the controversial Mañanita cop Debold Sinas who retired in May 2018.

Eleazar and Sinas were both graduates of the Philippine Military Academy Hinirang class of 1987.

He was the former District Director of Quezon City Police District (QCPD) from July 1, 2016, to April 18, 2018. During his time as the QCPD chief was when Duterte had also appointed Oscar Albayalde to take over the National Capital Region Police Office succeeding the ex-senatorial aspirant Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa.

What’s ironic here?

During his time as the QCPD chief cop, his local city was placed in a grim, bloodbath situation.

The so-called ‘operation double barrel’ of Duterte’s anti-drug campaign mainly targeted suspected drug dealers and users in which most cases of the accused individuals were rather arrested but killed extrajudicially.

Human Rights Watch scored more than 12,000 slain suspected drug users and dealers who came mostly from urban poor communities across the country.

However, the PNP and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) only acknowledged at least 5,317 killings on the alleged drug suspects ahead of the Duterte administration’s drug-war campaign based on their statistics under #RealNumbersPH.

In the said statistics, Quezon City, of which Eleazar was the chief cop, ranked third in the capital region with the highest reported drug-related fatalities from July 2016 until December 2018.

However, it must be emphasized that while Eleazar had served the QCPD directorial post until April 2018, it only took a month before he was then appointed as the NCPRO chief which lasted until October 2019. Meaning to say that the statistics on the spate of drug-related killings transpired during the time Eleazar served two different posts.

But before becoming the NCPRO chief, Eleazar served as the Regional Director for CALABARZON from April 2018 until June 2018. And a few days during his term, four drug suspects were reportedly killed in an alleged shootout with police officers in the region

A 2016 Reuters investigation found out that when an open fire police operation they refer to as a “shootout” transpired, they killed 97 percent of the people they shot.

Many of the suspects are brought to the hospital with shots in the head and the heart. But the doctors would only focus on them without asking any questions. Given these situations, the alleged drug suspects were then reported as dead-on-arrivalAs of writing, from July 2016 until September 30 this year, #RealNumbersPH recorded 6,201 persons who have died during the anti-drug operations.

These numbers are already large in sum but human rights defenders scored that the voluminous number of killings could reach as high as 30,000 including those killed outside police operations.

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